BBC Persian Television
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|BBC Persian Television|
|Launched||14 January 2009|
|Country||United Kingdom (For broadcast overseas)|
|Headquarters||Broadcasting House, London|
|Sister channel(s)||BBC World News, BBC Arabic Television|
|Hot Bird||12149V - 27500 - 3/4|
|Telstar 12||12608 H - 19280 - 3/4|
|Eutelsat W3A||10720 H - 22000 - 1/2|
BBC Persian Television (Persian: تلویزیون فارسی بیبیسی) is the BBC's Persian language news channel that was launched on 14 January 2009.  The service can be accessed through satellite television, and is aimed at the 100 million Persian speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
The annual budget of £15 million is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but as with the BBC World Service which is also funded by the FCO, the BBC remains editorially independent, though some Iranian media have accused the British Government of using the service as a propaganda tool. The Iranian government issued a statement denouncing the new service as 'suspicious and illegal', and 'working against the interests of the Islamic Republic'.
Role in 1953 Iranian coup d'état
The British government used the BBC's Persian service for advancing its propaganda against democratically elected Prime minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh and anti-Mosaddegh material were repeatedly aired on the radio channel to the extent that Iranian staff at the BBC Persian radio went on strike to protest the move.
In a documentary Cinematograph aired on August 18 2011 on the anniversary of the coup, BBC Persian channel admitted for the first time to the role of the BBC Persian radio as the propaganda arm of the British government in Iran.
“The British government used the BBC Persian radio for advancing its propaganda against Mosaddegh and anti-Mosaddegh material were repeatedly aired on the radio channel to the extent that Iranian staff at the BBC Persian radio went on strike to protest the move,” the Cinematograph narrator said.
The Cinematograph also quoted a classified document going back to July 21, 1951 in which a Foreign Office official thanked the British ambassador for his proposals that were followed to the word by the BBC Persian radio to strengthen its propaganda against Mosaddegh.
“The BBC had already made most of the points which you listed, but they were very glad to have an indication from you of what was likely to be most effective and will arrange their programme accordingly,” the document shown in part on the program read.
“We should also avoid direct attacks on the 'ruling classes' since it seems probable that we may want to deal with a government drawn from those classes should Mosaddegh fall,” it added.
The document further stressed that the Foreign Office “shall be grateful for [the ambassador's] comments on the propaganda line we have proposed”.
In June 2009, BBC Persian's Hot Bird satellite broadcasts along with those of BBC Arabic Television, other BBC services, and those of other broadcasters were experiencing interference due to a jamming signal originating from within Iran. In response, BBC Persian started transmission on other satellites and increased their broadcast hours in order to combat the interference
The channel has been criticised by Iranian state television of encouraging "illegal" rallies and manipulating the Iranian people against the Islamic Republic, a claim which the BBC denies.
The jamming resumed on 20 December 2009 soon after BBC Persian began extended coverage of the protests resulting from the death of leading reformist cleric Grand Ayatollah Hoseyn Ali Montazeri, and on 28 December 2009, BBC Persian ceased its transmission from the Hot Bird 6 satellite., however transmissions continued from the Telstar 12, Eutelsat W2M and Atlantic Bird 4A satellites.
BBC Persian returned to a different frequency on Hot Bird 6  on 26 May 2010, after a period of test transmissions. After a new jamming in February 2011 on Hotbird, BBC Persian showed for some months only a test card along with the audio of their service. Since February 2012 BBC Persian is back on Hotbird again.
Also, due to the ban on foreign reporters in Iran, the news service currently relies on a significant amount of user-generated content, often taken with mobile phones.
It appears that Iran's presidential elections in June 2009 and what followed greatly elevated BBC Persian TV's stature and importance. It became the channel that extensively covered the events for the Iranians inside Iran. Outside of Iran, the channel was therefore recognised accordingly.
On 4 November 2009, BBC Persian TV was honoured for the "Clearest coverage of a single news event – television" by the Association for International Broadcasting at its annual global media excellence awards at a gala event in London, England. The award was for "the elections that shook Iran". It was a half hour narration of the unrest that developed in the streets of Iran immediately after the disputed June presidential elections.
On 20 November 2009, BBC Persian TV was honoured at the 12th annual Hot Bird TV Awards in Venice, Italy. It was named best news channel for its portrayal of unbiased news in a complex and fast-moving environment.
The channel broadcasts from London for eight hours every day. Programmes cover a variety of subjects including current affairs, documentaries, culture, science, business and the arts. Entertainment programmes such as BBC Sound and Top Gear are broadcast with Persian dubbing.
|Wikinews has related news: News services and World Wide Web companies increase Farsi services after Iranian presidential election|
- "Hot Bird 6". BBC Persian. http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/institutional/2012/06/120628_ptv_hotbird.shtml. Retrieved 2012-31-7.
- "Telstar 12". Lyngsat. http://www.lyngsat.com/telstar12.html. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "Eutelsat W3A". LyngSat. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. http://www.lyngsat.com/ew3a.html. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- "BBC Awaits response to Persian TV". BBC. 2009-01-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7827574.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- "BBC open Persian TV Service". The Sun Daily. http://www.thesundaily.com/article.cfm?id=29231.
- Marrin, Minette (2009-01-14). "Bridging the Persian gulf". London: The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article5512228.ece. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
- "Broadcasting Agreement for the Provision of the BBC World Service". BBC/FCO. 2006-07-01. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/WS_Broadcasting_Agreement02FINAL.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "Iranian website alleges British government influence in BBC Persian TV". ZIBB. Jan 16, 2009. http://www.zibb.com/article/4734334/Iranian+website+alleges+British+government+influence+in+BBC+Persian+TV. Retrieved 2009-01-29.[dead link]
- http://blogs.rnw.nl/medianetwork/bbc-says-its-satellite-broadcasts-being-disrupted-from-iran BBC says its satellite broadcasts being disrupted from Iran
- http://blogs.rnw.nl/medianetwork/bbc-adds-more-satellites-for-its-persian-tv-service BBC adds more satellites for its Persian TV service
- Luft, Oliver (2009-06-19). "Iran elections: BBC World Service battles satellite interference". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/19/iran-bbc-worldwide. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2009/12_december/21/persian.shtml BBC Persian television broadcasting despite interference from Iran
- http://en.kingofsat.net/channelhistory.php?ch=6262 Kingofsat - "2009-12-28 BBC Persian has left 11117.00MHz"
- http://en.kingofsat.net/detail-bbcpersian.php Kingofsat - "BBC Persian (All satellites)"
- http://widenetworks.net/hotbird.html "(Hotbird Service Provider)"
- BBC Persian works round restrictions, BBC News, 2009-06-23.
- Turner, Mimi (2009-11-20). "BBC Persian News tops Hot Bird nods". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/world/news/e3ied5661580e6e68a1de0af3144e35832b.[dead link]
- "BBC Persian TV". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2009/01/bbc_persian_tv.html.